Northwest NEWS

September 20, 1999

Editorial

It is possible to control our tax growth; let's save some of that old green stuff

   Each September, the City of Woodinville plans and prepares its budget for the following year. In reviewing the tax revenues of the last five years, there are some distinctive trends that can provide us some insight to guide this year's process.

   In each of the last five years the City has raised our property taxes. Property tax collections in 1994 were $1,229,000.00. In 1998, they were $1,587,200.00. With the City maintaining a constant tax rate per $1,000.00 of real estate assessment, the tax increase has been courtesy of the King County Assessor's office, rising property values, and new development.

   In addition, sales tax collections have risen sharply. In 1994, they were $2,291,000.00. By 1998, they were $3,670,200.00. Overall, the City has seen a 49% increase in collected sales and property taxes during the last five years to a total of $5,257,400.00 for 1998.

   Is it time to curtail spending and implement a property tax rate reduction? For example, if we reduce the property tax rate by 20%, our combined tax revenue would still be over $5,000,000.00.

   Citizens of Woodinville, take a moment to express your opinions to our City Council. It is within our grasp to control our tax growth by influencing our elected officials. Our council members receive a lot of phone calls pertaining to the city's recreation, historical preservation, environmental topics, etc. Take a few minutes to encourage them to reduce taxes and save us some of that old green stuff.

James L. Clayton, Woodinville